Koyama Press Announces Spring Season '17: Their Tenth Birthday
In an announcement sent out today, Annie Koyama and her crack team of comics-loving facilitators at Koyama Press announced their Spring 2017. They remind us that 2017 will see the celebration of Koyama Press' 10th Anniversary. They promise "surprises," and more importantly for this site, "an incredible slate of comics."
That is as solid a group of artists as the company has ever published in a single season, and may be the best in the company's short, distinguished existence-to-date. I'd have to check.
Cover images and titles and descriptions and publishing breakdowns are:
Crawl Space ISBN: 978-1-927668-41-2 Specs: $19.95, 6.5 x 9, 96 pages, color, paper over board Publication Date: May 2017 Publisher's Description: "A washer and dryer provide gateways to higher levels of reality and psychedelic weirdness for a group of neighborhood children.
"In the basement, through the appliances and past the veil that separates realities, lies a rainbow-hued world where a group of kids have found retreat from their suburban mundanity with a coterie of iridescent creatures. But in the fraught realm of adolescence, can friendship survive the appeal of the surreal?"
Publisher's Biography Of Creative Talent: "Jesse Jacobs was born in Moncton, New Brunswick, and now draws comics and things from his home in Hamilton, Ontario. In 2009, his books Small Victories and Blue Winter were shortlisted at the Doug Wright Awards for Canadian Cartooning. He received the Gene Day Award for Canadian Comic Book Self-Publisher of 2008. Even the Giants (AdHouse, 2011) marked his major publishing debut after several award-winning, self-published titles, and his work has appeared in the acclaimed Latvian comics anthology !, as well as the 2012 edition of The Best American Comics edited by Francoise Mouly and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He made his debut with Koyama Press in 2012 with the psychedelic creation myth By This Shall You Know Him, which was followed by the trippy take on nature versus nurture Safari Honeymoon in 2014."
Volcano Trash ISBN: 978-1-927668-42-9 Specs: $12.00, 6.5 x 9, 120 pages, color, trade paper Publication Date: May 2017 Publisher's Description: "The boys are back to their temple raidin' ways, but has the long, crooked arm of the law caught them?
"Corrupt cops, hive-like henchmen, be-goggled boy heroes, labyrinthine HQs, unlikely team-ups, heartbreaking best friend breakups, and a liberal dose of super science, zingers and explosive action. Sound like a Double+ adventure? It is."
Publisher's Biography Of Creative Talent: "Ben Sears is a cartoonist, illustrator and musician born and raised in Louisville, KY where he continues to live and work. His Double+ character has appeared in a number of zines, online anthologies and the all-ages adventure comic Night Air, where he has been perpetually in over his head."
You & A Bike & A Road ISBN: 978-1-927668-40-5 Specs: $12.00, 6 x 8.5, 160 pages, b&w, trade paper Publication Date: May 2017 Publisher's Description: "Collecting a raw, immediate and moving journal that chronicles a two-month long bike tour from Tuscon, AZ to Athens, GA.
"In 2016, acclaimed cartoonist and illustrator Eleanor Davis documented her cross-country bike tour as it happened. The immediacy of Davis' comics journal makes for an incredible chronicle of human experience on the most efficient and humane form of human transportation.
Publisher's Biography Of Creative Talent: "Eleanor Davis is a cartoonist and illustrator. She lives in Athens, GA. She was born in Tucson, Arizona. In 2009, Davis won the Eisner's Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award and was named one of Print magazine's New Visual Artists. In 2013, her short story "In Our Eden" received a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators. In 2015, her book How To Be Happy won the Ignatz Award for Outstanding Anthology or Collection."
Sunburning ISBN: 978-1-927668-44-3 Specs: $12.00, 7 x 9, 120 pages, b&w, trade paper Publication Date: May 2017 Publisher's Description: "Collecting the moments that make up the days of a bipolar artist and mother. They are messy, funny and real.
"In an era where personal lives are meticulously curated and presented, Keiler Roberts' unflinching and intimate comics reveal real life to be as absurd as it is profound. In a sequence of vignettes, Roberts delineates the complicated life of a mother and artist that can be comical, melancholic and delightful."
Publisher's Biography Of Creative Talent: "Keiler Roberts' autobiographical comic series, Powdered Milk, has received four Ignatz Award nominations and one win, and was included in the Notables List of The Best American Comics 2014, 2015 and 2016. Her work has been published in The Chicago Reader, Mutha Magazine, Nat. Brut, Darling Sleeper,New City, and several anthologies. She was a Special Guest at CAKE (Chicago Alternative Comics Festival) in 2015 and Chicago Zine Fest in 2013."
"Miseryland, Roberts' third book, has been reviewed by Publishers Weekly, The Comics Journal, BMu, Sequential State, and more. New City named Roberts one of the Top Five Comics Artists in Chicago in 2015. She was a panelist in The Chicago Architectural Biennial, and has performed readings of her comics at Brain Frame, Sector 2337 Gallery, Quimby's, and Two Cookie Minimum. In 2016, she had a solo show at The Naughton Gallery at Queen's University in Belfast. Keiler teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and DePaul University."
So Pretty/Very Rotten: Comics And Essays On Lolita Fashion And Cute Culture ISBN: 978-1-927668-43-6 Specs: $18.00, 5 x 7, 300 pages, b&w, trade paper Publication Date: May 2017 Publisher's Description: "A short story and essay collection exploring the Japanese fashion subculture, Lolita, by two cartoonists who go beyond the clothes.
"In a series of essays and comics that are at once academic and intimate, cartoonists Jane Mai and An Nguyen delve into Lolita subculture and their relationship with it. Empowering and beautiful, but also inescapably linked to consumerism, the Rococo-inspired fashion is indulgent and sublime, pretty and rotten."
Publisher's Biographies Of Creative Talent: "An Nguyen is a cartoonist and illustrator based in Ottawa, ON best known for her romantic comic series Open Spaces and Closed Places. She has drawn comics for Spera: Ascension of the Starless, Electric Ant zine, and various Love Love Hill anthologies. In addition to So Pretty/Very Rotten, she and Jane Mai also released a zine titled Don't Talk to Me or I'll Set Myself on Fire."
"Jane Mai is a freelance illustrator and comic artist from Brooklyn, NY. Her work has appeared in several anthologies and self-published zines. Koyama Press published her first book, Sunday In The Park With Boys, which was followed by the zine Sorry I Can't Come In On Monday I'm Really Really Sick, and See You Next Tuesday. "
"Novala Takemoto is a Japanese author, fashion designer and prominent promoter of the Lolita lifestyle. Soleinuit (Kokushokankai), his first collection of essays, was published in 1998. He debuted as a novelist in 2000 with Missin' (Shogakukan). He achieved wide recognition when his 2002 novel Shimotsuma Monogatari (Shogakukan) was adapted into the movie, Kamikaze Girls, in 2004. His most recent work is Rakkusei (Cyzo, Inc.)."
Condo Heartbreak Disco ISBN: 978-1-927668-45-0 Specs: $10.00, 7 x 10, 52 pages, b&w, trade paper Publication Date: May 2017 Publisher's Description: "The condopocalypse is engulfing Toronto and a dynamic duo of gender fluid superheroes is all that's left to stop it.
"Towers of steel and glass are decimating Toronto's neighborhoods; replacing communities with condos. Can the city's primary purveyors of socially motivated revenge and personal guidance, Komio and The Willendorf Braid, save the city from condo hell, or are they too late to save this Hogtown from the twisted CEO?"
Publisher's Biography Of Creative Talent: "Eric Kostiuk Williams is a cartoonist and illustrator based in Toronto, ON. His debut autobiographical work Hungry Bottom Comics was nominated for the 2013 Doug Wright Spotlight Award, and each issue of the series was selected for The Best American Comics' Notable Books of 2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively. Recent commercial clients include Joe Fresh, the Drake Hotel, Xtra!, and the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention."
A Brief Note Or Two On The Late Kim Thompson Being Born 60 Years Ago Today
The great translator, underrated critic and legendary publishing figure Kim Thompson, who died in 2013, would have been 60 today. I suspect Kim would have rolled his eyes at prolonged public sadness over his passing, so I won't mention anything like that here other than to state it's still slightly impossible for me to believe that I could go to that office right this very second and not find him working in that little office of his, or stepping into the kitchen to greet me.
The thing that stuck in my head, though, throughout today, was how many people texted and e-mailed that they thought Kim was older than 60 when he passed away. I think that's because Kim and Gary Groth and their roughly same-age peers were either the first generation of alt-comics publishers or the first generation since the first generation to enter mainstream comics in a significant way. So you have a lot of people 55-65 with trackable careers two, three, four decades long in an established arts industry, which is rare.
Alt-comics is older now in a lot of ways, despite the flood of younger cartoonists driving down the average age overall. When I went to work at Fantagraphics in 1994 I was likely in the top half of older people in the office. I was 26. Kim and Gary, who seemed decades older in my mind, were in their late 30s. By then they had settled into a crucial if not stable industry role and had already held down that position for a dozen to fifteen years. We just don't have a lot of people like that now. They're youthful. We're young.
Assembled Extra: Chris Ware Makes Touch Sensitive Available As Stand-Alone For iPads
Click through the image. This was an iPad exclusive and thus remains one, but it's available outside of its presence nestled within a no-longer-exists McSweeney's app. Also, Chris Ware has a Facebook page.
Link through the image, one of the great Bill Schelly's covers for the publication.
Except for the nice people involved in fandom back then who are still with us, this fan publication was kind of the last surviving entity of the golden age of fandom. It will end in December, and have a digital-only afterlife.
One thing that's slightly different about this piece is that they engage a bit with Jaime and Beto's fans, like the young woman above, and how important it is in general for people to be able to see themselves in meaningful works of fiction. Also shining through is the underlying good sense of their punk outlook: to do work for a smaller audience that's meaningful and personal to you. That never stops being wise, even in a world where some would assert the only value is maximum profit and be celebrated for saying so.
Bonus: Jaime is funny in this one, and his sense of humor doesn't always come out in interviews. Go, read.
2. SPX wraps up another hugely successful year in Bethesda and announces dates through 2019.
3. Female cartoonists and young cartoonists dominated the Ignatz Awards, with young female cartoonist Tillie Walden winning two. Noah Van Sciver broke what I think may be the longest stretch of nominations without a win by taking one home.
Winner Of The Week
Losers Of The Week
Those of us that can't remember our comiXology passwords. Okay, I know I promised to never make jokes like that, but I couldn't think of anyone that really stuck out as a loser other than Scott Adams' latest presidential election look-at-me antics, and I don't want to link to those. That's a resonably interesting announcement, too, Koyama going in wit the Amazon digital program like that. I thought she might drift around on the edges of that kind of commitment for a while yet.
Quote Of The Week
"We weren't raised to go grab the gold ring. We were raised to get along and survive." -- Jaime Hernandez